It is essential that you see someone fully trained and qualified. The GMC registers all doctors one year after finishing their medical school. It then takes a much longer period to gain entry onto their specialist register for a subspecialty. You can check the GMCs website very easily. Each UK specialty has their own specialty exam. In surgery this is the FRCS and in plastic surgery, this is the FRCS (Plast). Further postgraduate training (such as a diploma in aesthetic surgery) shows added qualifications. Membership of nationally accredited surgical societies (such as the Royal college of Surgeons of England, British Association of Plastic and Reconstructive surgeons and the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons) is also important and implies a greater level of professional vetting by collegues.

Once you have selected a surgeon, you will need to make an initial appointment with them. Prior to this appointment, you should have thought carefully about the problems you wish to address. It is useful to write a list to help you remember. It is also helpful to take along photographs of yourself, especially if you are looking to address a body part which has been affected by injury or ageing. We advise you to bring a partner or friend with you, if you feel this would be useful.